Avera celebrates health care heroes

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – This week, Avera celebrates the heroes who work within its facilities, including clinics, hospitals, senior living centers and more.

National Hospital Week is May 10-16, National Nurses Week is May 6-12 and National Skilled Nursing Care Week is May 10-16.

“Our celebration this year – called ‘Celebrating You’ – captures these important observances, yet goes beyond to include the bigger picture,” said Bob Sutton, President and CEO of Avera Health.

Avera has 19,000 employees in 300 locations in 100 communities across five states in the Upper Midwest. The Avera footprint covers 72,000 square miles and includes a full continuum of care: hospitals, clinics, senior care, at-home and hospice care, telemedicine, sports and fitness centers, home medical equipment and more.

“Caregivers are the unsung heroes of this time,” Sutton said. They have varied roles that include physician, advanced practice provider, nurse, technician, technologist, certified nursing assistant, therapist, educator, case manager, social worker, counselor and more.

“Yet we also want to celebrate any and all who fill other roles that fulfill the Avera mission to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities,” Sutton said.

It’s fitting that caregivers are celebrated as this region heads into a predicted surge of COVID-19 cases.

“Our caregivers are well-prepared and willing to help. In our hospitals and ICUs, they are supporting people who are fighting for their lives. Through our Avera@Home agencies, they are delivering top quality care at home, reserving hospital beds for the sickest patients. At the same time, they are caring for people who have the full range of illnesses and injuries, because life doesn’t stop happening in the midst of a pandemic. We are so proud of them. When you see a sign outside our facility that says, ‘Heroes work here,’ you can be assured that’s true,” said Todd Forkel, President and CEO at Avera St. Luke’s.

Throughout the rest of the month, Avera St. Luke’s employees will be recognized and celebrated on social media and beyond.

The Avera Foundation has established a program to provide support to frontline caregivers across the health ministry. The Avera Heroes Fund gives opportunities to individuals and businesses to not just support Avera, but to make direct contributions to the care teams who are continuing to respond during these unprecedented times. Learn more at Avera.org/heroes.

Learn more about how Avera is dedicated to the communities it serves, and send a note of support and thanks to caregivers at Avera.org/dedicated